"The number of pregnant and breastfeeding women in Malawi with HIV who started life-saving antiretroviral treatment increased by more than 700 percent in one year, according to a study in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The "...
IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
ZIDOVUDINE (AZT) - ORAL
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Retrovir
WARNING: Zidovudine has caused severe blood problems including a decrease in red blood cells (anemia) and white blood cells (neutropenia). They occur more frequently in people with advanced HIV disease (AIDS). Blood problems may require blood transfusions or stopping your medication. Your doctor will order blood tests to monitor for this. Keep all medical appointments. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop signs of anemia (unusual tiredness, breathing problems, weakness, bluish fingernails/lips, pale skin, fast heartbeat). Low white blood cells can make you more likely to get serious (sometimes fatal) infections. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop signs of infection such as fever, chills, persistent cough, breathing problems, or sore throat.
This medication may also cause muscle problems (myopathy). Seek immediate medical attention if you develop symptoms of myopathy (such as wasting or decrease in muscle size, muscle weakness/pain/tenderness, weight loss).
Rarely, zidovudine has caused a severe (sometimes fatal) liver and blood problem (lactic acidosis). Tell your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms of liver problems (persistent nausea, stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin) or lactic acidosis (rapid breathing, drowsiness, muscle aches).
USES: This drug is used with other HIV medications to help control HIV infection. It helps to decrease the amount of HIV in your body so your immune system can work better. This lowers your chance of getting HIV complications (such as new infections, cancer) and improves your quality of life. Zidovudine belongs to a class of drugs known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors-NRTIs.
Zidovudine is used in pregnant women to prevent passing the HIV virus to the unborn baby. This medication is also used in newborns born to mothers infected with HIV to prevent infection in the newborns.
Zidovudine is not a cure for HIV infection. To decrease your risk of spreading HIV disease to others, do all of the following: (1) continue to take all HIV medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor, (2) always use an effective barrier method (latex or polyurethane condoms/dental dams) during all sexual activity, and (3) do not share personal items (such as needles/syringes, toothbrushes, and razors) that may have contacted blood or other body fluids. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This medication may also be used in combination with other HIV medications to reduce the risk of getting HIV infection after contact with the virus. Consult your doctor for more details.
HOW TO USE: Take this medication by mouth, usually 2-3 times daily with or without food or as directed by your doctor. Take this medication by mouth with a full glass of water (8 ounces/240 milliliters) unless your doctor directs you otherwise. If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Pregnant women may need to take this medication 5 times a day. Newborns are usually given the liquid form every 6 hours for 6 weeks after birth to prevent infection.
Take this medication 2 hours before or after taking clarithromycin. Clarithromycin may prevent your body from fully absorbing zidovudine.
This medication works best when the amount of drug in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day.
It is very important to continue taking this medication (and other HIV medications) exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not skip any doses. Refill your medication before you run out.
Do not take more or less of this drug than prescribed or stop taking it (or other HIV medicines) even for a short time unless directed to do so by your doctor. Skipping or changing your dose without approval from your doctor may cause the amount of virus to increase, make the infection more difficult to treat (resistant), or worsen side effects.
Additional Retrovir Information
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